Turmeric has been lauded as potentially the most effective nutritional supplement in existence.
The common Indian spice contains bioactive compounds called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.
This active ingredient is responsible for its powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is also an incredible antioxidant. Whilst the level of curcumin in fresh turmeric is not that high (by weight), taking extracts that concentrate the content of the antioxidant are incredibly beneficial to a variety of ailments.
Note: Curcumin can be poorly absorbed in the body. Foods containing piperine, such as black pepper, can aid in its digestion and absorption. The compound extract is also fat soluble, so taking the supplement with good fats will also aid in its digestion.
Health benefits of turmeric
Turmeric has traditionally been used to fight inflammation in cases of stomach ulcers, gut inflammation and people suffering from arthritis and colitis.
Inflammation, of the gut in particular, has also been linked to chronic diseases and obesity. Reducing inflammation can lead to a whole new world of health benefits.
Here are more foods that fight inflammation.
Boosts brain repair
According to a report in the journal Stem Cell Research, turmeric can encourage the growth of nerve cells thought to help aid brain self-repair.
The farming village of Ballabgarh in northern India has lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease than anywhere else in the world.
Clinical studies confirm the common cooking spice turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory effects that may prevent and even reverse the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases.
Fighting symptoms of PTSD and depression
Now, scientists are claiming curcumin, the yellow curry compound found in turmeric, can help prevent fear from being stored in the brain while removing pre-existing fears from the brain’s storage.
Psychologists from The City University of New York are hoping the findings will pave the way for more sophisticated treatments for psychological disorders.
“This suggests that people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological disorders that are characterised by fearful memories may benefit substantially from a curcumin-enriched diet,” said Professor Glenn Schafe who led the study.
Similarly, a study conducted by universities in China found that curcumin can have significant antidepressant properties.
Studies have shown that another health benefit of turmeric is that it has the ability to inhibit the spread of certain viruses and prevent infection.
Curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralises free radicals on its own, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.
A word to the wise
If you are looking for supplements online, the FDA in America doesn’t regulate supplements like they do pharmaceutical drugs. It is important to do your research and find out exactly what the supplement contains before taking it.